Civil Liability For The Criminal Acts

1175 WordsApr 29, 20155 Pages
A business should have civil liability for the criminal acts of its employees when the criminal acts are done in connection with the employee performing work for the company. This includes acts that were both known and unknown by the employer. Vicarious liability and respondeat superior are two large factors in businesses being liable for their employees, and it is vital to understand what does and doesn’t fall under these doctrines. Businesses have a duty of care to hire, train, supervise, and retain employees that are responsible and ethical members of society; if an employee commits a criminal act while representing the business, then the employer has breached its duty of care. Employees represent the business they work for, and a…show more content…
Vicarious liability is a theory that assigns legal liability to the injury of a person based on the legal relationship of the two entities, versus who actually committed the crime. Examples of legal relationships that can lead to liability by association are those such as a child and a parent, a wife and a husband, and an employee and an employer. Another liability theory is the respondeat superior doctrine, which is focused on the employer-employee relationship. It makes the employer responsible for the actions of its employee when dealing with those of which are owed a duty of care. For this to apply, it has to be within the capacity of the employee’s job with the employer (“Vicarious liability,” 2008). Respondeat superior is a form of strict liability, which is ultimate and automatic legal responsibility for damages that does not require proof of fault in order to be imposed (“Strict liability,” 2008). It is the doctrine in which a business can be held liable for its employee’s actions that are committed within their employment. The 1991 case of Sayles v. Piccadilly Cafeterias, Inc., (242 Va. 328, 410 S.E.2d 632) is an example of vicarious liability and respondeat superior. Sayles was a passenger in car 1 and Belcastro
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